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FINANCE MINISTRY TO GO ON WITH TALKS AS RUSSIA WANTS TO PAY PARIS CLUB DEBTS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

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MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Finance Ministry calls the Paris creditors' club to carry on negotiations on the terms of debt payment ahead of schedule, a government functionary said to Novosti on the eve of Cabinet debates on the matter-it will appear on the agenda at a government session tomorrow.

The Finance Ministry is proposing further teamwork with Paris club member countries to streamline those terms, even if Russia's situation gets worse when it makes the early payments it intends, emphasized our informant.

Russia and the Paris club will gather at the negotiation table for a second round of talks, April-May. Russia will proceed from $15 billion as basic figure. Even if the negotiators arrive at terms less lucrative than initially set, Russia will, nevertheless, save more than $2.5 million on interest. The Cabinet intends to spend the sum on domestic social obligations, went on our interviewee.

The Cabinet is also determined to settle, within this year, Soviet debts to Greece, China, Kuwait, Malta, the United Arab Emirates, Yugoslavia and Turkey, and pay what is left of commercial indebtedness to the International Economic Cooperation Bank. Russia is due to chair the G8 in 2008, and it ought to proceed from that prospect. It means we are to fully reschedule and redraft such Soviet debts as have this year for payment deadline, said the government officer.

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